Car accidents are a leading cause of injury and death in the United States. Sadly, most accidents are caused by a driver’s reckless or negligent actions. While many would describe themselves as careful and responsible drivers, nearly everyone occasionally participates in some type of distracted driving, often without realizing how dangerous it can be.
The car accident lawyers at Reed & Terry, L.L.P., serving Sugar Land, TX, Katy, TX, and Richmond, TX, have handled many cases involving distracted driving. We’d like to draw attention to some of the most common types of distracted driving, and urge drivers to think twice before participating in these habits behind the wheel.
Three Forms of Distraction
Driving is a physical activity that requires hands-on attention and visual and mental focus. Any activity that draws the hands away from the steering wheel, takes a person’s eyes off the road, or requires mental attention can serve as a distraction. It is important that drivers avoid physical, visual, and cognitive distractions while driving.
Cell Phone Use
Cell phone use is one of the most common types of distracted driving. Cell phone use is a triple threat when it comes to distractions. People need their hands and eyes to dial a number on a cell phone or send a text; while they are doing those things, their mind will also be distracted. No matter how important a call or message may seem, it is always best for drivers to wait until they are off the road before responding.
Eating and Drinking
Eating and drinking is another practice that can distract the hands, eyes, and mind. It is impossible to take a bite of food or a sip of a drink without removing a hand from the steering wheel. In addition, a spilled drink or a dropped fry can turn into a much bigger distraction, one that is best to avoid while driving.
Many people have their makeup routine down, so it may not seem like a big deal to apply a quick swipe of mascara while driving, especially if the car is at a red light. Like other tasks, applying makeup takes a lot more attention than most people realize, and it’s not possible to keep your eyes and hands where they need to be if you’re busy putting on lipstick.
Using a GPS Device
Drivers often rely on GPS devices or map apps to provide them with valuable directions. These can be a great tool as long as the address is put into the system before a person starts to drive. Audible directions are also the best choice so that drivers don’t need to visually check for their next turn.
Talking to Other Passengers
It is unreasonable to expect people to drive without any other passengers. However, it is good to be aware that talking to others in the car can serve as a distraction, especially if you turn your head to talk or use your hands to gesture. Passengers are especially risky for new drivers who need as much focus as possible to concentrate on their new driving skills.
Schedule a Case Review
If distracted driving caused a car accident that has left you dealing with injuries and financial losses, you may be due financial compensation for damages. To schedule a free case review with the car accident lawyers at Reed & Terry, L.L.P., call (281) 201-0988.